The Duke’s bedroom was cleaned up with magic, it’s like a fight never occurred. All of the pieces of furniture were returned to their original state. The tarnished floors looked spotless. If I had magic back on Earth I’d never pick up a broom again. I doubt anyone would bother with any cleaning appliances if they could Fairy Godmother their homes into top shape.
He returned to his chair and sat before the fireplace. I sat in the chair next to his and waited for him to speak. Time passed and I began to doze off as he read his book. Due to all the excitement I would be tired, but I didn’t want to fall asleep so close to him. This would be the wrong moment to let my guard down. Still, I fell asleep in the warmth of his room.
There beneath the trees I lay soaking in the hot sun. The rays prickling my skin through the leaves. Humans often do this, lay in fields and fall asleep. Some of them are always so busy that I guess this would make for a nice break from their daily burdens. Life insists that I do these mundane things to become more human like. Between the other Divines and myself, I’m the outsider. Being first made me the strongest, but as the other Divines like to point out, being the first made me the weakest. There is not a single humane thing about me, so they say. However, as the deity that represents death, being human-like isn’t necessary.
“Dee,” he called for me.
I hate that nickname, but it’s okay if he calls me that. We’ve been lovers for such a long time. Humans have pet names for the ones they care about. I too shall have one given to me by my lover. How are relationship began, I’m not too certain. Somehow I grew close to him and I wanted to see him more. I began to value his opinion, his conversation, as if it was a necessity for existing. When he wasn’t around I grew lonely. There was an emptiness that couldn’t be filled with my duties. And when we finally kissed, there was a warmth I had never felt before.
Life sat beside me, running his hands through my hair. His black strands swayed forth, tickling my face as he leaned in to greet me with a kiss. And those hooded emerald eyes, he’s only ever looked at me that way.
“Out in the field again?” he asked.
“Isn’t this where we always meet?” I responded to his question with another. I muster up the courage to use my own pet name for him. I’ve practiced for over a week. Perhaps I’m overthinking it all, but this is important to me.
“What are you thinking about? The gears are obviously turning in that head of yours,” he said.
“Vita! Or maybe I should call you sun or darling? There are a lot more.”
“You don’t have to give me a pet name. You have plenty of time to come up with one.”
“I’m aware that we have all the time in the world. I just want to show my affection for you. When you say Dee the words roll off of your tongue like honey.”
“Like honey? If you go any further I may have to pounce. Such seductive words escaping those lips.” He brushed his finger against my mouth. Without much thought I licked them, they smelled sweet.
“Were you eating something tasty?” I glanced up to find an intense gaze. Before I could ask anything else, I was attacked with a passionate kiss. He was unraveling my clothing and I didn’t want to refuse him. I wanted to see how far this would go but this new experience was short lived. Life backed away from me, he was experiencing another migraine. And as I always did in moments like this, I provided him with shade. An ability that severs his bond with his creation as it dies.
There were times where I’ve wanted to annihilate the human race. They’ve caused more harm than good, constantly killing each other off and destroying Life’s other great works. If he didn’t love them I’d kill him them all and we’d start over.
“Thank you,” he said.
“Anytime, sunshine,” I smiled.
“I like that one. Call me sunshine,” he demanded.
“I will,” I said. Life adjusted my clothing and left to fulfill his work. I parted to collect souls. Who would have thought that this would be the last of our peaceful days.
“Hey,” I smacked his chest. “Let go of me!”
My body was covered in sweat; curls sticking to my face and nape. He was sleeping in comfort while I felt like I was trapped in a sauna. The nerve of this guy. He spat on Alexandra’s affections and lies in bed with her body the next.
I could feel his broad chest flinch against my hands as I attempted to push him away.
“I can hear your thoughts when we touch,” he mumbled. Barely audible from where I lay.
“How are you able to do that,” I asked.
“The perks of being a Divine. But it doesn’t apply to everyone or thing. Despite what we are there are limitations,” he said. His eyes were half closed through his dark strands. He appeared to be exhausted.
“Because I love. Because I’ve always loved you and cannot move on. Alexandra may look like you but she isn’t you. She’s just a soul fragment, a piece of you that I don’t really need.”
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not but she loves you and I don’t. Wouldn’t it be easier to be with her?”
“I’ve earned your love before and I can do so again. Besides, it was your personality that I fell for in the beginning. She lacks the essence of who you are.”
“Is that so? If you can read my thoughts you should have gathered that I am a bitch.”
“You’re just feisty,” he chuckled. “You’re a lot more caring then you let on. You’ve had a real human experience this time and it has improved you.”
“I think you’re full of shit,” I said.
“And you're full of love,” he pressed me against his chest.
“I hate you!” I didn’t mean it though. “I had a dream.”
“I know,” he said half awake.
“So that was your doing?”
“I wanted to share a memory with you.”
“I’d prefer to remember on my own.”
“That’s fine, now go to sleep.”
This bastard thinks I’m just going to lie here, in this comfortable ass bed, in this warm room, and in his damn arms. He was almost correct as I felt a wave of exhaustion come over me. Then I felt something thick against me, pressing against my belly button.
“Your naked aren’t you?” I didn’t dare look below.
“Why not take a look?” he asked as he grabbed me by the wrist. He turned me over as he hovered above me. I realized he was big, but without any clothes on, he was like a bear. The Duke appeared to be amused but the smile immediately turned to a frown. He was disappointed. As soon as I locked Alexandra away I realized that this body and her soul alone were attracted to the Duke. I wasn’t. This time, Alexandra was completely secured away. I was beginning to feel as if this body was becoming more occupied by myself than some sort of shell I was wearing momentarily. He removed himself from above me and asked to be called something other than the Duke while we’re at home. I agreed to call him Elias.
I turned away from him as he got up to dress himself. Elias insisted that he could make me love him again, but the uncertainty seemed to resonate in his voice. That patience was probably wearing thin since he claims to have been looking for me for such a long time. Part of me believes that he doesn’t want me and Alexandra to be pieced back together, but he’ll be pushing for it eventually. In the meantime I want to figure out how to remove Alexandra’s attraction to him. If she and I eventually become one I don’t want to be so infatuated with a man that I lose all my reason. Which led me to wonder why we haven’t mended already. I asked Elias but he didn’t know why. He assumed that it would happen automatically.
“I don’t mind if you're never mended back together but if that is what you want then there is someone we have to meet, the Divine of Mending,” he smiled.
“Sure,” I said.
The possibility of meeting another god wasn’t exactly exciting. It seemed like one major headache was coming my way. Life was going to get more complicated for me.
Elias usehered my out of the room. At the front of his door stood the maids who led me to my room to prepare for the day. Charlie followed behind. Elias and I sat at the breakfast table mostly in silence. He read over documents as I dug into eggs. There were loud sighs coming from his direction and I did my best to ignore them, but they just got louder. This guy wants attention.
I asked him what he was doing and he was all too eager to explain. He needed to approve trades on specific magical materials. Ambry is rich in magical stones that amplify’s one’s own magical abilities. However, if placed into the wrong hands they could be used in unethical ways. Listening in detail, I proposed the trade of lesser magical stones that would allow one time use. These one time stones are called moon stones. In exchange for the moon stones we would be receiving magical crops to assist those less magically inclined. There are those who are born with magic. Some can do great things while others can just levitate one pebble as their greatest feat. You're at a disadvantage in this world if you cannot wield a significant amount of magic.
According to Elias, this kingdom looks after its people well. There is no such thing as homelessness. You will not find beggars on the street asking for shelter or money. Magic makes it easier to look after those that are less fortunate but the there isn’t an unlimited supply. Elias kind of described magic like a limited well of water. Eventually people run out of the magic they are born with and have to utilize magic stones. The best and most expensive stones are only activated by great magic users. And the greatest are found within the royal family and are wizards or soldiers. There are stones that allow non magic users to do a few things like the moon stones that allow one time use. Once you run your well dry, you’ll have no magic to wield from within.
However, due to our divinity, we have an unlimited supply. More like Alexandra has an unlimited supply because I can’t do a damn thing but close a door on an emotional wreck.
I asked Elias why he wouldn’t simply grow the crops or create something that would benefit the people himself. This kingdom seems to be self-sufficient and shouldn’t need the help of outsiders. He explained that it’s important to build relationships whether it comes from trade or some other means. I suppose on a deeper level he really meant opportunity.
The city of Ambry houses a large stone called Ra, found within the palace walls. There’s a folklore on how the stone descended from the skies, from NGC 5195 to the Whirlpool Galaxy. Something about it granting the people magical abilities and so on. Anyways, the first wizards figured out how to use the stone to power the kingdom. There are stones like Ra found in a few other kingdoms. The fact the other kingdoms have their own stones makes them a threat. Especially since every kingdom that has one is trying to figure out how to use it for more power.
Elias believes that the more relationships this kingdom builds with other surrounding countries, this will allow for territorial influence in case a war would one day breakout between the kingdoms with powerful stones.
“Couldn’t you just wipe them all out,” I asked.
“We are visitors in this galaxy. Respectfully as divines, we must not interfere with the works of others,” he said.
Basically, it’s impolite to dick around with the creation of another deity. At some point Elias plans for us to leave this galaxy for good to eventually return to the world we originally came from. The idea of seeing more was fascinating.
“It’s nearly time for us to depart,” said Abigail.
“Depart to where,” I asked.
“We are visiting the uncle of the Duchess,” she said sternly.
“Ah. Well I suppose that’s alright,” said Elias.
Abigail and I excused ourselves from the dining hall. At least I’d get to see new face though I don’t know Alexandra enough to not come off as a strange. She’s dramatic so I can probably manage that.
“Are the flowers for the uncle or his wife?” I asked.
“They are for your uncle,” Abigail responded.
“What’s he like?”
“Dead.” She said in such a curt manner that I was taken aback. Out of respect for Alexandra I’ll visit her dead uncle, but my patience once again was wearing thin with Abigail, her trusted maid.